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Oct 8, 2013

Nationality office is sealed off amid the new allegations of immigration corruption

At eleven-thirty this morning the nationality section in Belmopan closed its doors to the public. At a meeting, the staff was told only that because of an investigation they would not be opening for the immediate future. They were given no further details. The directive from up high comes eighteen days into the investigation of the passport scandal involving former Minister of State Elvin Penner. But we are informed by no less than the Minister of Immigration that the sealing off of the nationality section is not as a result of anything discovered in the investigation. In fact, it is a direct result of the release of nationality documents signed by Elvin Penner. On Monday attorney Arthur Saldivar released one such document to the public, and claims to have one hundred and fifty of them – all bearing Penner’s signature and signed on behalf of primarily Asian and Middle Eastern nationals. Today News Five spoke to Minister Godwin Hulse as he prepared to head over to the nationality section.

 

Godwin Hulse, Minister of Immigration

Godwin Hulse

“What actually happened is as you know, it is public knowledge on all news on the media last night suggesting that Mister Arthur Saldivar had procured and gotten his hands on some files and certificates, etc., etc. in relevance to nationalities and that was big enough for us to check our inventory. So I ordered the C.E.O. and the Director to close the nationality department today while they take an inventory of the files to see if in fact that is so and if any files are missing and where we are with that.”

 

Reporter

“But is the concern about files that are missing or is it more of a concern what he brought out that it might be a valid document; or that he might have a hundred and fifty such documents with Minister Penner’s signature?”

 

Godwin Hulse

“All of that are concerns; we don’t know what he has and what he doesn’t have and if he has those we need to know what’s going on. This is an ongoing process you know. Lots of things seem to have happen at immigration and we are going to get to the bottom of it no matter what.”

 

Reporter

“So the focus now is on both the nationality and the passport sections?”

 

Godwin Hulse

“The focus has always been on two; it is a misconception. And I hear it over and over that we haven’t looked at nationality. We have looked at nationality except that in passport, there is a strict process that goes through seven steps and that process was prescribed in law couple months ago when we signed it into law from application up to delivery. Nationality has no such process prescribed in law; it is only the practices the nationality how it is done and how a file is developed. so it is not as though we have never looked at nationality except that in passport we are able to pinpoint step by step because it is all recorded the various steps is recorded electronically and every otherwise.”

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12 Responses for “Nationality office is sealed off amid the new allegations of immigration corruption”

  1. Joe Blank says:

    In the developed world, this government would have been forced to resign. Simple.

  2. m.price says:

    They are holding on for dear-life.

    I find it very conspicuous that the PUP administration has not been more vocal and taken a bigger advantage of this huge opportunity, besides the one-man show being put on by Sal.

    I personally believe that this is much bigger that penner or the UDP. The PUP’s silence is deafening, don’t be surprised if this thing is just a continuation practice from administration.

    USA & other nations will soon stop honoring Belize passports..Watch & See

  3. Trust UDP, then don't think says:

    Getting the public out of the way will make more room for the BIGGER paper shredders, and less prying eyes.

    There is an investigation going on.

    All PM docs go first, then ministers, next are staff booty princesses, THEN UDP appointments. Everyone else you are on your own to CYA

  4. Citizen says:

    The only reason Nationality office closed is to do inventory? The files were being destroyed, by you guys to hide evidence, and now because you are caught in the act, you want to do inventory. Its truly amazing to what lengths you will go to not conduct a criminal investigation into the whole immigration scandal!

  5. Love says:

    The people of Belize want transparency. They want justice, because we have such a hard time getting our own passport or even renewing our passport, even though we born, grow and live here. Yet, we see foreigners which include criminals getting passport delivered to them no matter what part of the world they are and even if they are in prison, as long as the bucks pass hands. ARN’T YOU GUYS ASHAME TO FACE THE PUBLIC, lying daily to the nation and the world, and the only thing that get you to act is a few files might be missing, so we need to do and inventory, OTHERWISE THE TRUTH WILL BE KNOWN TO THE PUBLIC. The public know the truth, that this is a run away operation taking place a long time ago, so slow down, stop and come clean. LET justice prevail. How do you think these ministers have gotten rich overnight, while we have to work 40 – 50 years and we are lucky if we can pull ourselves out of poverty. We are neither blind, deaf or dumb! You know what, we prefer that forty or fifty years any day because its always better to be honest.

  6. Al says:

    The same way the PAC want to investigate the office even through the PUP governance, they should investigate that Nationality section in the same way. We can only imagine the phone calls flying between the two leaders of the two “honorable” parties.

  7. Louisville,Ky says:

    I am quite amused by the fact that regular folk are acting like they are so hurt and perturbed by all this corruption and ‘back n ah hand’ goings on by those in high places.
    Which one of YOU refused or would have refused to accept bribery from these Crooks, especially at election time? Not one of you. So stop the b@#%& cloth crying. What! Are you ticked off because those who collected did not cut you in on the spoils?
    When you accepted the election bribes for your vote you were telling your Political Masters: its okay to be corrupt.
    You have sown to the wind; now reap the whirlwind. And shut up.

  8. hard woking Belizean says:

    JUSTICE, FAIRNESS & TRANSPARENCY is what we are demanding!! At the end of the day we, the common Belizeans are the ones who get the end point of all of this corruption! Us who are born & raised here in Belize and whom when we go to apply for our passports are treated with so much disrespect & scorn by the same immigration officers whom behave as if they are the all HIGH & ALMIGHTY!!! Why? Simply because we do not have those thousands of dollars to pay them for what is our born rights here in Belize, our PASSPORTS!! Its heart wrenching to see what our beautiful jewel Belize has been turned to….a 100% CORRUPTED country! Commencing from the top, with the PM, down to the last gov’t office existent!! This corruption must end & it will not end until it is cut off from the root which will happen only if our leaders choose to lead our country with honesty & dignity for all!! God have mercy on our beloved Belize!

  9. ceo says:

    A big joke! Do they think people are so stupid or they think they are smarter then the rest of us? In either case they are wrong. Sad but there is no party that seems to be able to lead without crookry!

  10. Guerra says:

    The Mennonite who was running in 2002 said he want nothing to do with Penner, because he disgraced the Mennonite population. However, for the next three years, Father said he need him, but he don’t know after that. : ) At least, even if no one else want to, Penner can call him father for the next three years : )

  11. Belizean Pride says:

    saldivar just got raid by the police to get all the copies of info he had, how about that ha!!! gov. is trying to cover up this mess before it gets out of hand really.

  12. Carlton Valentinte says:

    All government departments should be investigated. Including the departments of transport in Dangriga where the documents for my Nissan Pathfinder is missing or destroyed to coverup an illegal sale. Too much corruption in Belize.

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